Friday, August 31, 2001
Time to enjoy fresh produce just jumping out of the garden
This is that time of year we have all been waiting for, gardeners and non-gardeners alike. For the gardeners, it's those bright red tomatoes weighting down the vine; zucchini that one must keep an eye on or they'll grow to a monstrous size; and the cucumbers sprawling all across the garden, ready to climb the back fence if you let them. There's also an abundance of herbs -- rosemary, chives, basil and parsley. This has been an unusually productive summer for gardeners in Massachusetts.
For the non-gardeners in town who are looking for fresh produce, there is only a short trip by car or bicycle to Hutchins and McGrath Farms in Concord.
The short time that we have left, from mid-August until the first frost in the fall, hopefully not until October, gives us just a few weeks in the kitchen to cook up a storm.
Following you will find a selection of recipes from the staff here at the Mosquito. We vouch for their wonderful flavors, and their ability to grace anyone's summertime dinner table.
Spicy Cucumber Salad Recipe
4 medium-sized cucumbers
1 large red onion
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 T. sugar
2 T. chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1. Peel cucumbers, halve lengthwise, seed and thinly slice.
2. Peel and thinly slice red onion.
3. Peel and slice carrots into julienne strips (about 2 cups).
4. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir and chill before serving.
Boiled Potatoes with Caraway Seeds and Parsley Recipe
8 small new red waxy potatoes (about 3/4 lb.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2 T. melted butter
3 T. finely chopped parsley
1. Peel potatoes.
2. Place potatoes in a saucepan and add water to cover. Add caraway seeds and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Drain. Pour melted butter over potatoes, sprinkle with parsley and pepper. Toss and serve.
String Beans Vinaigrette Recipe
1 lb. green beans
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 small clove garlic, chopped fine
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 T. olive oil
2 T. tarragon vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
2 medium tomatoes, sliced in wedges
1/3 cup black olives
1. Wash green beans, snip off the ends and slice on the diagonal.
2. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add green beans and salt to taste. Cook until tender but still firm, about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Place beans in a bowl with the remaining ingredients except the tomatoes and olives. Mix well and chill.
4. Serve with tomatoes and olives.
Cold Tomato Soup with Rosemary Recipe
2 slices stale French or Italian white bread
3 lbs. ripe tomatoes
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1 cup chicken stock or broth
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon (or more to taste)
1. Remove crusts from bread.
2. Peel, seed and roughly chop tomatoes.
3. Soak bread in cold water briefly. Squeeze dry. Combine in a blender with tomatoes, rosemary and garlic. (You may have to do this in two batches.)
4. With blender on low, drizzle in the stock and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
5. Chill and serve.
Tomato and Cucumber Marinated Salad Recipe
1/2 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1. Slice tomatoes. Peel and thinly slice cucumber. Peel and thinly slice onion and separate into rings.
2. Alternate layers of tomato, cucumber and onion in a shallow glass dish or pie plate. Combine oil, vinegar, basil, tarragon, salt and pepper and mix well. Pour over layered vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.
Grilled Zucchini Slices Recipe
1 T. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
4 T. olive oil
1 lb. zucchini
1. Wash zucchini. Slice vertically into 1/4 inch slices.
2. Combine remaining ingredients. Baste zucchini slices with marinade. Let them marinate at room temperature for one or more hours.
3. Grill for five to seven minutes per side, until browned.
Fettuccine with Pepper Julienne and Tomato-Basil Sauce Recipe
2 T. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 lbs. plum tomatoes
16 Kalamata olives (optional)
3/4 cup fresh basil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. red peppers
1/2 lb. yellow pepper
1 lb. fettuccine
1. Seed and coarsely chop plum tomatoes. Cut olives in half. Chop basil.
2. Heat 1 T. olive oil in large skillet over low heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add half of the garlic and stir 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium, add tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped basil, olives, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until almost all the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. This can be prepared early in the day and then reheated before using.
3. Seed red and yellow bell peppers and cut into 1/8 inch julienne slices. Heat 1 T. oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add bell peppers and cook until tender and edges begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add remaining garlic and stir 30 seconds. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped basil.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until just tender but firm to the bite. Drain well.
5. Transfer pasta to large bowl and toss with peppers. Top with tomato sauce or serve tomato sauce in a separate bowl. Garnish with more basil if desired.
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